Thinking of getting a Scottish Fold Kitten?
This breed is lovable, unassuming, easy-going, and intelligent.
With their owl-like faces and big round eyes, head, body, and even whisker pads, it’s no wonder these good-natured kittens are so popular.
Is a Scottish Fold kitten right for you and your family? Keep reading to see if this breed fits your lifestyle.
History of the Scottish Fold Kitten
A relatively newer breed, the Scottish Fold was “discovered” in 1961 on a Scotland farm by a shepherd named William Ross.
He asked the owners if he could have one of the peculiar folded-ear kittens, and began to breed them from this farm stock.
With the unique attribute of the ears folding down and forward, a Scottish Fold has a unique “teddy bear” look that is very appealing.
With it’s rise in popularity, its not surprising that this pedigree was granted championship status by The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) by 1978.
The Scottish Fold kitten has been refined over the last twenty years due to very selective breeding, however outcrossing is allowed to keep the gene pool varied.
They are crossed to American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs to maintain the rounded, sturdy body type.
Interestingly, all Scottish Fold kittens are all born with straight ears which will either curl or remain pricked by three to four weeks of age.
A Scottish Fold kitten with folded ears can be difficult to come by, since the gene that folds the ears cannot be controlled or predicted.
Breeding two folded-ear individuals is frowned upon, due to the fact that a double dose of this recessive gene can present other unwanted genetic problems for the kittens.
A responsible breeder will breed a curl-eared cat with a prick-eared (or an acceptable cross) to keep the genetic lines healthy.
This is why a straight-eared Scottish Fold kitten is so important to the breed! Many people are happy to have this version, because even without the “teddy bear” or “owl” face, it still has the same sweet disposition that the Fold is known for.
In terms of coat color, the CFA recognizes all colors possible in the Scottish Fold, with the exception of chocolate, lavender, or a Himalayan pattern, as these all point to evidence of unwanted hybridization.
Caring for a Scottish Fold Kitten
This popular cat is very hardy, owing to its barnyard ancestry. Their temperament matches their looks: Sweet and cuddly, but with small voices and a quiet nature.
They adapt to most home situations, and get along very well with dogs and children.
Although playful and curious in their own way, they can be “couch potatoes” often preferring to snuggle next to their humans than to climb and run.
The Scottish Fold kitten comes in both long-hair and short-hair varieties. Both have coats that are plush and thick, but the long-hair Scottish Fold version will need brushing at least 3 or 4 times weekly.
Depending on the degree of the ear fold, this cat can develop wax buildup in the ears that has to be cleaned periodically.
Mites can sometimes present a problem as well, and the presence of this pest needs to be monitored.
Known Health Issues
Due to crossbreeding with British and American Shorthairs, the Scottish Fold kitten has a healthy gene pool and no major health issues, with a life expectancy of about 15 years.
However, their compactness can present lack of flexibility in the tail and back legs. Before selecting a kitten, it is a good idea to very gently brush your hand along the base to the tip of the tail toward his back to check for stiffness.
Other Characteristics and Info
- Only folded-ear varieties of the Scottish Fold are allowed in the show ring.
- The original Scottish barnyard cat had only one fold, but through selective breeding, it is not unusual to see double or triple folds to get the ears to lie as flat against the head as possible.
- This is a very laid-back and adaptable breed, and travels well compared to other pedigrees as long as it can be near its humans.
- They enjoy sleeping on their backs and sitting on their haunches in a “Buddha” pose.
The Scottish Fold Kitten at a Glance
Affection Level: HIGH Shyness MEDIUM Child Friendly: HIGH Energy: MEDIUM
Health Issues: LOW Intelligence: HIGH Maintenance: MEDIUM Independence: LOW